Two for one: Orleman brothers share the crease


Waterloo Region Record

KITCHENER — The Kitchener-Waterloo Braves’ backup plan looks remarkably similar to their primary plan.
Brothers Kevin and Steven Orleman of Kitchener form the goaltending tandem for the Jr. A lacrosse team this season, giving the squad what their general manager calls the best one-two punch in net in the country.
“Both these kids will be (National Lacrosse League) goalies one day,” said Braves GM Corey Hallman.
“I’ve worked with some good ones and I’ve seen every NLL goalie that’s come out of K-W in the last 25 years. These guys have that same passion for the game and drive to be the best that all the others shared.”
While their Ontario Lacrosse Association fans at the Kinsmen Arena are seeing double because both Orlemans play a similar style, the Braves have a long history of brotherly love in their ranks.
Dhane and Drake Smith, Ryan and Eric Benesch, Mark and Scott Tinning, Nick and Alex Inch and, long before them, Jim and Joe McCrea were among the Braves who shared the floor with a brother.
But two siblings coexisting in the same crease for the same team is most certainly a rarity for any lacrosse squad at any level.
That’s because brothers playing lacrosse in the family driveway usually have one designated goalie and one designated shooter. Otherwise, who would take the shots?
Due to their nearly three-year age difference, this summer marks the first time the Orlemans have played full-time on the same team together.
So far, there’s not even a wisp of sibling rivalry between them.
“I just always wanted to do what my big brother did,” Steven, 17, a Grade 11 student at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, explained recently.
“We work together really well,” he said. “We like to support each other non-stop.”
And Kevin, 19, who just finished his second-year economics studies at the University of Guelph and sees the lion’s share of crease duties with the Braves, was more than happy to oblige.
“We are extremely similar. We are best friends. It’s a pretty cool experience having him on my team.”
Of course, the Brothers Orleman take a similar approach to tending goal. They are both athletic and astonishingly quick.
“Their style is very much similar to the point where it can be a little eerie sometimes,” said Hallman.
So eerie, in fact, that they both sport identical goals-against averages of 7.91 this season, albeit, Steven’s numbers were posted with the Braves’ affiliate, the Guelph Jr. B Regals, where he sees double duty.
The Orlemans also share similar hockey and lacrosse credentials.
Both brothers played Triple-A minor hockey locally, though neither one was a hockey goalie, opting instead to be a defenceman (Steven) and a centre (Kevin).
Steven has three gold medals clanging on the doorknob in his room from his time with Team Ontario, competing at the national box lacrosse championships.
He also represented Canada at the unofficial under-17 world championship, where the Canucks went 4-0 in a demonstration event at the world box lacrosse championship in Syracuse, N.Y., last September.
Kevin, who has three gold medals as a member of Team Ontario’s national championship teams, got a taste of west coast lacrosse last summer when the Braves loaned him to the New Westminster Salmonbellies for their playoff run.
“They give us a chance to win every time we step on the floor, and the team knows that,” said Hallman.